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View Full Version : Importing a BMW from US, modifications


georgost
10-28-2007, 12:22 PM
Hey there, I am about to import a car a 2003 540i M tech from teh US.
i need to fighure out where to get all the modifications done when the car gets here. From what I understand, I will need new bilingual air bag stickers, or if all else fails new visors. I will need to activate the DRL's, I will need the child seat tether and to switch over the ododmeter to kilometers. Are these tasks only to be performed by BMW, or are there other shops that can do this for me?

E302NV
10-28-2007, 03:34 PM
check your pm.

Meegis
10-28-2007, 04:09 PM
You do not need to swith the odometer... The stickers come with the RIV fee...The DRLs are simple, but not necessarily needed ;)... child seat you will need to do.

As for BMW doing it, they do not have to, as long as it is done.

Deep 3.2TL
10-28-2007, 04:28 PM
The work needs to be done by an authorized shop - not neccessarily BMW, but someone authorized to do it.

Deep

NickP
10-28-2007, 05:31 PM
The work needs to be done by an authorized shop - not neccessarily BMW, but someone authorized to do it.

Deep

No it doesn't - it can be done by anyone. The inspection has to be performed by an authorized shop - Canadian Tire I believe.

Meegis
10-28-2007, 05:36 PM
No it doesn't - it can be done by anyone. The inspection has to be performed by an authorized shop - Canadian Tire I believe.

Exactly.

I have a printout of the RIV from today (need it for another friend) and only specific companies state it has to be done at an authorized dealer.

Canadian Tire is the authorized inspection center. Although, there are many cases of cars going in and out due to underpayed wage shop boys.

europrince
10-28-2007, 09:01 PM
^ just like with most of the work at crappy tire

jameswbl
10-31-2007, 12:46 AM
you need DRL and the letter from BMW

Meegis
10-31-2007, 01:39 AM
you need DRL and the letter from BMW

Leave your headlights on, or fog lights on, they wont know... :cool:

Boots R
10-31-2007, 02:31 AM
Leave your headlights on, or fog lights on, they wont know... :cool:

Depends on the Canadian Tire inspector.

Most are dumb, but not all of them.

ScotcH
11-01-2007, 11:27 AM
For the child seat, you just need the kit ... it does not have to be installed.

stiffy
11-07-2007, 01:01 PM
So did you actually import the car? One question - if you drove the car back from the US, what did you do for insurance while you were in the US? Once you get back into Ontario, your policy here automatically covers you for 14 days, but you still need insurance for the drive through the US. At least, that's what I understand from a dealer in Buffalo - in order to put a 30-day tag on teh car for you, you must have US insurance.

georgost
11-07-2007, 01:16 PM
I have since purchased the car, and it is in transit. I didn’t want to get involved in driving it back, first off because the car is in Tampa FL, also because of what you said with regard to insurance. Car is on a trailer right now. I can see your point though if you are buying from Buffalo. Couldn’t you just get the car towed to the border, I mean it isn’t that far.

stiffy
11-07-2007, 02:08 PM
Maybe the solution is to meet at the border, as you say. The dealer is maybe 30 minutes (cars have to come across the Lewiston bridge). But then, how do you drive it in Ontario? Will MTO issue a temporary tag? Without it, you're kind of screwed for driving it.

ScotcH
11-07-2007, 05:54 PM
Maybe the solution is to meet at the border, as you say. The dealer is maybe 30 minutes (cars have to come across the Lewiston bridge). But then, how do you drive it in Ontario? Will MTO issue a temporary tag? Without it, you're kind of screwed for driving it.

Yeah, you can get a temp tag for it like anything else. Meeting at the border won't work, unless you want to spend 3 days there ... they title must be at the border for 72hrs before the car crosses.

What's the big deal with insurance? Call your company, give them the VIN, and you're insured.

Meegis
11-07-2007, 06:13 PM
You can get a temp ins. tag for the import drive. Many people have doen this, all the insurance does is give you a temp tag and papers. No big deal.

stiffy
11-08-2007, 03:00 PM
Yeah, you can get a temp tag for it like anything else. Meeting at the border won't work, unless you want to spend 3 days there ... they title must be at the border for 72hrs before the car crosses.

What's the big deal with insurance? Call your company, give them the VIN, and you're insured.

[QUOTE] You can get a temp ins. tag for the import drive. Many people have doen this, all the insurance does is give you a temp tag and papers. No big deal. [QUOTE]

I caled my insurance co. and they say that until the car is registered in Ontario, they can't add it to the policy. I am automatically covered for 14 days, including the time in the US, so I'll certainly have insurance. (this is by law, if you have vehicle insurance, the same coverages apply automatically to any vehicle you acquire, for 14 days.) The issue seems to be convincing the NY DMV that the car will be insured.

INFAMOU$
11-08-2007, 03:27 PM
There is no proper way to get a trip permit for the car… I have imported dozens of cars and suggest the following.. If you are going to SHIP it.. then use a bonded shipper that will ship the car directly to customs in Mississauga. That way you can do all your paperwork there and don’t have to worry about picking up on the US side etc.

If you plan to drive the car then your best bet is to get the previous owner to leave his/her plates on the car for your drive home and to ship them back to them after. Some States the plates go with the car and not with the owner so it could work out well for you. If all else fails then use one of your own plates! It is registered to you and as long as you have the title, insurance and bill of sale with you.. cops will understand. Most insurance companies will print you off a 30 day temp permit and if not you’re covered for 14 days from any bill of sale stating you bought the car! Getting a temp tag from the DMV down there will require you to pay STATE tax on the sale which is just a waste of money and in most cases requires a drivers license from that state as well. The MTO here won’t give you a trip permit until you have the title AND the form 1 complete from customs.. In some cases they will give you one if you have the title beforehand (but they aren’t suppose to and some just don’t know the process) however, IMO a trip permit is just being asked to get pulled over.

When approaching Canada customs (after you got your title stamped at the US side in which you faxed to them >72hrs prior to crossing) they are not the MTO and are not going to care about what plate you have on the car.. All they care about is their GST and 6% duty (if the car was not manufactured in North America) There you will fill out your FORM 1 and pay your RIV fee which is $209. Plus $100 for Air Conditioning Tax. They will tell you to carry the Form 1 in the car as it will act as a “trip permit” RIV will give you anywhere from 30-90 days in most cases to complete the “modifications” that can be all done YOURSELF! However the inspection must be done by a “certified shop” which is ANY Canadian tire or from a list in which they provide and is included in the $209 you paid.

-The Recall letter is $500 from BMW and no way around it. You will pay it!
-The safety seat bolt can be bought from CT for $5 and returned after the inspection
-SRS labels in French are ONLY required when air bags need maintenance.. yours won’t.
-DRLs can be programmed in at BMW.. or just cover the LIGHT sensor before the inspection so it thinks it’s nightime..
-Your Speedometer needs to read in KM/h which most do.. however the Odometer doesn’t.

Once this is complete they stamp your RIV form and you’ll go get your Safety and your Etest and you can register the car.. Enjoy :)

georgost
11-08-2007, 03:32 PM
Guys, with reagrd to the BMW recall letter and the charge of $500. I bought my car from a US Mercedes dealer, who was able to obtain the warranty history on the car from an authorized BMW dealer. I submitted this notice to the RIV and they have accepted the letter, so I didn't have to go through BMW Canada and saved myself the $500. The RIV website clearly states that in xome cases tehy will accept teh recall notice from a US Autjorized dealer.

BTW ARE YOU TEH SAME INFAMOUS FROM TEH GTAMC BOARD....SELLING THE WHITE COUPE?

INFAMOU$
11-08-2007, 03:55 PM
BTW ARE YOU TEH SAME INFAMOUS FROM TEH GTAMC BOARD....SELLING THE WHITE COUPE?

Yeup that's me.. To add to your comment.. it's true about the letter from the US in some cases.. Depends who gets it and how anal they want to be about it in the end! I even sent them a copy from ONLINE Ford Canada saying my Lightning had NO RECALLS that needed to be done and they accepted the print screen! Ford use to do the letters free and are now charging $50. Communication with RIV is key..

georgost
11-08-2007, 03:56 PM
Sell the coupe yet?

INFAMOU$
11-08-2007, 04:02 PM
Sent you PM to not hijack the post!

stiffy
11-08-2007, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the great info infamou$ and georgost. I'm actually buying an MB SL500 - and MB USA will supply the recall letter no charge. Question - do I need the recall letter at the border, or just to complete the inspection? You sound convinced that the border folks don't care about the plates - just collecting their fees - I think that makes sense too. I really just need to be able to get to the MTO office in Niagara Falls - to get a temporary trip permit. 10 days should give me time to get the mods done and get it registered.

Of course, the dealer I'm buying it from might be able to put some sort of a plate on and I can send it back. All this for the 30 minutes I'll be driving from Buffalo to Lewiston. Gawd...

georgost
11-08-2007, 08:05 PM
Recall letter required at the Registar of Imported Vehicles www.riv.ca and not the border. At the border you will receive your inspection Form-1 which you can use at MTO for your temp permit. You will then need the Form-1 along with the recall letter for the RIV to give you the Form-2, which is the form you will bring to Crappy Tire for your inspection. This form must then go back to thr RIV.

countrybimm
11-08-2007, 08:52 PM
if u get your car from a dealer in indiana and ohio i know at least, they put a 30 day temp plate on it, which u can drive in ontario with, as for insurence you just call your insurence company and they will fax your insurence papers...you can get pulled over and your fine long as you have your form 1, or two cant remember and your insurence...i got mine from indiana last fall and drove around no hassles, and pickin up a truck this saterday from ohio..as for recall letters, the dealership u get it from in the stateswill get you a copy for free, long as your buyin from a dealership

djeurofest1
11-08-2007, 09:29 PM
make sure you are allowed to bring the MB sl500 into canada, i know a lot of mercedes are not allowed into canada, not part of the riv program

stiffy
11-09-2007, 02:53 PM
The SL500 is admissable, but I have to spend 3 grand to get the bumpers etc modified. I'm still saving a pile, even after this and the duty. Amazing. I know I'm insured the minute I pick teh vehicle up, but apparently the NY DMV wants to see the actual car listed on my policy, which can't happen until after I reigster in Ontario. I guess we'll figure something out.

Boots R
11-09-2007, 02:59 PM
Of course, the dealer I'm buying it from might be able to put some sort of a plate on and I can send it back. All this for the 30 minutes I'll be driving from Buffalo to Lewiston. Gawd...

That sounds like the best idea. A dealer plate. Ask if it's possible to leave some sort of small deposit in exchange for return of the plates, or have them lend you the plates on good will.